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Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Ivan Valles/Jimmy De La Espriella
Date Posted:
December 2009
Equipment Used:

Mac G5 Quad 2.5 with Digi 002 interface running Pro Tools LE 7.4; Apogee Rosetta 800 converters, Avalon 737SP, Universal Audio LA610, Focusrite preamps; Mics: Neumann TLM 103, Oktava M-012, for drums: Shure Beta 52, Beta 56, SM57, and Beta 98. Fender Stratocaster, Spanish custom made nylon-string guitar, Mesa Boogie amp, Pedulla bass, Pearl Session Custom drum set.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Ahi” is a male vocal Latin pop tune. Ivan co-wrote, sang backing vocals, recorded, mixed, and produced the track. Jimmy was the other co-writer and contributed the lead vocal. Rocio Magana handled the guitar work, Giovanni Piacentini was on keyboards, and the rhythm section was comprised of Kike Purizaga on bass and JP Dias on drums.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
Recording: This month’s Spotlight is a tasty Latin track that features great performances as well as tones. Ivan has done a wonderful job in capturing all of the sound sources here, with special credit for the beautifully recorded (and performed!) lead vocal. We often speak of the “marriage” between a vocal mic and a singer, and in this case the combination of the Neumann TLM 103 and Jimmy’s standout performance is, as they say, “made in heaven”.

The recording of the nylon-string guitar is also first rate. We hear none of the troublesome squeaks that often accompany this instrument, and the subtle compression that Ivan used helps to keep the guitar nicely present in the mix.

Other standouts include the spacious reverb on JP’s Pearl drum kit and the stellar recording of the shaker. Yes, we said the shaker! While tracking such “second tier” sound sources such as shakers and tambourines might seem like a slam dunk, in fact they can often be some of the trickiest instruments to capture sucessfully. Thankfully, given its prominence here, Ivan has delivered the goods.

Lastly we would be remiss if we failed to mention the skill with which Ivan has managed a pretty complex arrangement. The keys and backing vocals are given space, without crowding the lead vocal, and some nifty panning choices keep things exciting throughout. Well done! (Ivan didn’t mention his monitors, but whatever he’s using, they’re definitely giving him an accurate and translatable mix.)

Summary: Stellar.

Contact: Ivan Valles/Jimmy De La Espriella,

About: Marty Peters

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